Sunday, April 13, 2008

Biscuit Making: Another BUST!


OK! I admit it! I'm not June Cleaver, Betty Crocker, or Martha Stewart. But I do like to cook, and there are a few things I do quite well and am proud to serve. But biscuits????? I just can't seem to get the hang of it. Maybe if I stuck to the same recipe and made it one thousand times over, then they would turn out like they do at that old country diner or the big truck stop off the interstate.

Something's been going on inside me. Maybe it's that "I'm just as good as anyone else" thing that pops up once in a while, or the fact that I'm getting older and have yet to conquer the basics of fundamental homemaking, like sewing, cleaning, cooking, breadmaking, gardening, etc. I'll be off to the old folks home and won't have a claim to fame in any of these areas!!!!!

I keep going to all of your blogs and see these mouth watering pictures of what you present to your families on a regular basis, and here I am, still smacking little cans of biscuits on the side of my counter (IF I get to them before they explode in my refridgerator!!!!). So. . . .I'm on a quest now to be the best biscuit maker in the USA!

So. . . .I get tons of flour, new baking powder, baking soda, shortening, buttermilk, and a host of other "stuff" that the different recipes call for. My first try???
Buttermilk biscuits! I followed the recipe to a tee! Measured extra carefully.
Did exactly what the recipe said, except it did NOT tell me how big or how thick to make these. What a disappointment. What went IN the oven is what came OUT. Same size, same thickness, but nice and browned. They tasted great, but they did not rise at all!!!!

So. . . .for those of you who would love to tell me what I did wrong, here is the recipe:

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk

Cut shortening into flour. Gradually add buttermilk. Stir to blend thoroughly. Knead dough 10 - 12 times on lightly floured surface. Pinch off small pieces of dough. Shape into biscuits and flatten slightly. Arrange in a generously greased pan.

Bake at 400 degrees 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Please note: I did NOT have self-rising flour, so used 4 tsp of baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt.

This morning, they were delicious with sausage gravy slathered on top! But they were NOT something I would want to show to anyone except BUSTER!



Kimmie said...

Cora...I am at a loss. I usually use the same type of biscuits that you do...the ones you smack on the counter top! LOL! I do have a reciepe for sweet rolls. I can find it and maybe you could compare. I know that I have to raise it with a damp dish towel over the top of the bowl and punch it down three times before I can roll them out. Then I have to let them rise again for an hour, then bake. I am not quite sure why your biscuits did not rise. You put baking powder in the mixture, that should have done it. Wish I could have helped. Maybe calling one of the bakery's at one of your grocery stores and asking them what they may think went wrong. Just a thought. I am happy they tasted good though!

We are just getting ready to leave to go have dinner at my Sister In Laws. I made a Sweet Potato Casserole and some brownies to take with us. :-)

Hope to see you later!


Nanny said...

The frozen bag of Grands biscuits are really great!

Baked in the oven and set on a plate beside some sausage one will know ;)


tattered 'n torn prims said...

oh yummy biscuits!! I like the drop ones that look horrible but taste yummy, cause then I have an excuse why they look so bad....cause they're supposed to!! LOL!!

Thank you for visiting my blog!! Be aware of the joint snatchers mom has had them hit twice!! LOL!!

Laura of Harvest Lane said...

I find that my biscuits come out about the same height as they were when I put them in the oven. I'm a bit of a lazy biscuit maker. I pat my dough into a large rectange about an inch thick. Then I cut them into whatever size I want, usually 2-3 inches, with a knife, like I'm cutting a cake. I then use my hands to move them apart slightly on the pan. So I end up with a bunch of square biscuits. (Don't tell!) ~smile~
My recipe is on my blog.

I just found you; I think your posts are absolutely refreshing. I've taught myself many skills over the years. I've been thinking of making some aprons, too. I'm a big girl, so I need something a little more substantial in size. I also would like them long, at least mid-calf.

Enjoy your adventure!

God bless you!

Laura of Harvest Lane

Dani said...

You might want to get new baking could be its just old...that happened to me once and fresh powder did the trick...other than that....I don't have a clue..sorry!

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

That's the basic recipe I use. But I really don't measure any of it. I use more flour than that but have a lot left over. I try not to really knead the dough when I'm mixing the ingredients--I use a large round bowl, and put the crisco into a "well" made in the flour first and work it in with my fingers and then add the buttermilk and do the same. Then I gently turn the dough over on itself (keeping the dough in the center of the bowl surrounded by what looks like a wall of flour) and turn the bowl almost like a very slow mixer until the dough holds together nicely and is almost like a large ball. (It's a bit messy and takes some getting used to--eventually you'll just "feel" it when it's right.) At this point it should be fairly coated in flour. When I pinch off for the biscuits, I have flour on my hands and then "knead" the pinched piece until it rolls easily in my hands and I can make a ball and then gently flatten it on the pan into a biscuit shape.
Practice is the key, and sometimes those biscuits have a mind of their own no matter what you do.
Good luck!!

Pam said...

It all sounds like you did everything just right.
I use the self-rising flour when I bake biscuits (Martha White), and knead with a very light hand, as little as possible.
I have to say, though, these days I'm with Nanny...the bag of frozen Grands....that's the ticket!

Farm Chick Paula said...

That's not fair Cora- you have to show us the ugly ones, too! LOL
I need to know there is someone out there who makes ugly biscuits like I do. The good thing is, they don't last long enough around here to be in a beauty contest anyway. LOL :)

Pam said...

Cora, I'm so glad you dropped by this morning. But I owe you an apology...I certainly did not mean to discourage you from the homemade biscuits. They look good, and honestly, the taste is the thing!!! I used to make them almost everyday, and the first ones I made were absolutely terrible. Mama kept telling me to keep practicing! Since my girls grew up, I don't make them much anymore....we just buy the frozen bagged kind, and they really are good. But the homemade is best of all!
Dani's suggestion about the baking powder is a good one...and like many a Tennessee girl, I love my Martha White self-rising flour!!!! That, plus a light hand when mixing.

Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

Cora, those look better than mine EVER have! Send me one!


Sugarplum Cottage said...

Hey Cora I have a biscuit recipe on my blog that is out of this world, and it is similar to yours. I mix and lightly press dough and use a glass to cut them out. The secret to light, fluffy biscuits is not the ingredients, but the way you handle them. Make sure you add enough milk to make them moist, do not knead your dough kinda fold it very softly a FEW times and then flatten with hands to about 3/4" thick Bake in a Hot 450 oven. The less you handle your dough the lighter they are. Good Luck, RoseMarie